A Humble Request, Don’t Allow Politics to Determine Fiscal Matters!

  • As you are aware, it is a given fact that every political party worth its salt would want to fish in troubled waters sensing an opportunity to consolidate the vote banks. Yes, no one would rant about the matter since the political parties have a direct connection with the people by virtue of being their representatives. Nonetheless, looking from a prism of political one-upmanship in scoring a brownie point over critical issues such as national security, sovereignty, fiscal prudence, and all-encompassing economic reforms makes little sense. Ideally speaking, the bigger picture of
    the nation taking precedence over parochial considerations should be the guiding light. Such a situation sadly does not appear to be guiding the Indian political leaders presently.

PC:Somdutt Pandey

  •  We know how the elections invariably lead the political parties to come out with manifestos mostly made up of freebies and assurances that might actually fail to see the day of light. Did someone mention what about revenue generation to fund those freebies? Forget about it. Look at the way the political parties are playing with the pension scheme for retirees. We know about the raging debate as to how the new pension scheme versus the old pension scheme is panning out. Recent elections saw how the political parties went about impressing the working class with promises to revert to the old pension scheme. This will be a retrograde and fiscally imprudent move that will prove to be unviable invariably cutting into other fund allocations.
  •  Now, the Delhi high court has ruled that central armed police forces (CAPF) will be entitled to the old pension scheme (OPS), which provides a guaranteed payout following retirement. HC cited Constitution’s Article 246 to conclude that CAPF personnel fall under the definition of armed forces and, thereby, are eligible for guaranteed pensions. The background to the judgment is that central government personnel who joined in January 2004 onwards are not eligible for OPS. Instead, they are grouped under the national pension scheme (NPS), which functions on the lines of EPF. Mind you, there are no guaranteed payouts in NPS and the benefits that accrue to pensioners depend on the returns generated by their investments.

PC:Rajya Sabha

  • Indeed, HC’s ruling is inconsistent with reality. A GOI written response in Parliament said that CAPF personnel who joined since January 2004 have been part of NPS. It’s a situation where bureaucratic sloppiness in drafting notifications has led to a judicial verdict at odds with reality. The Union Government must appeal and get matters sorted out. Separately, Parliament must have a discussion on the perils of reckless promises on reversion to OPS. Remember, most states voluntarily shifted to NPS because OPS is fiscally unsustainable. Thus, the Himachal Pradesh government’s decision to revert to OPS is fiscally suicidal. Note that NPS happened at the right time and it’s now important to stick to it by every state government.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.